Two Ohioans anchor Michigan State’s early 2012 recruiting class


Centerville offensive lineman Benny McGowan

Centerville’s Benny McGowan and Marlington’s Zach Higgins both committed to Michigan State on Satruday after being in East Lansing for MSU’s Spring Game. It was a big weekend for Mark Dantonio.

McGowan talks MSU verbal

Centerville offensive lineman Benny McGowan said two
weeks ago Michigan State was in the lead for his services, despite an
impressive offers list. He wanted to check out MSU’s campus for the
first time during Saturday’s spring game and confirm they were his

Consider it done. McGowan arrived in East
Lansing early Saturday morning and spent roughly five hours checking out
the football building, touring campus and mingling with coaches.
Shortly before McGowan and other commits walked to Spartan Stadium for
the Green and White game, he delivered the good news to coach Mark Dantonio.

“We get there, I went in and sat down with coach Dantonio and
coach (Mark) Staten,” McGowan said. “Talked to them for a little bit,
then I talked to (strength and conditioning coach Ken) Mannie and went
around the workout facility, went and toured campus. After that was when
I really decided I wanted to commit. That’s when it felt right.”

The 6-foot-4, 300-pound lineman said he will likely play guard
for the Spartans. He held additional scholarship offers from Iowa,
Indiana, UCLA, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Iowa, Kent State, Ohio and

“I just liked everything about it there so I decided to commit,”
McGowan said. “I loved everything about it, the coaches, the atmosphere,
I just thought it was awesome.”

McGowan also took visits to Ohio State, Notre Dame and
Cincinnati, but said they didn’t compare to the Spartans.

“I loved the atmosphere and how the coaches acted,” McGowan said.
“It was definitely the best presentation. It wasn’t a junior day, but I
went to a couple and compared to those Michigan State was definitely
the best.”

McGowan said distance did play a role in choosing the Spartans
over top programs like Iowa and UCLA, but overall MSU was simply a more
appealing fit. Defensive backs coach Harlon Barnett
served as his primary recruiter.

“I liked the energy he brought,” McGowan said. “Whenever I called
him and talked to him on the phone it was good to see they were excited
about me and he just gave off good energy.”

McGowan comes from a long line of talented players at
Centerville. Former Ohio State linebacker and current Green Bay Packers
star A.J. Hawk is an alum, along with former Buckeyes quarterback and
current ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit. MSU has also offered McGowan’s
teammate, defensive lineman Ifeadi

After ending the process and making his decision to attend MSU,
McGowan was able to kick back and enjoy the spring game.

“It was pretty sweet just knowing that I’ll be playing where they
are in a couple years,” McGowan said. “It was a great feeling just
knowing that I for sure have a scholarship and I’m excited to come up

Higgins is MSU’s second 2012 commit

Marlington offensive guard Zach Higgins
committed to Michigan State Saturday morning while on campus to attend
the MSU spring game.

“Yes, I committed to Michigan State,” Higgins told Spartan

The 6-foot-4, 310-pound offensive lineman held additional offers
from Northwestern, West Virginia, Cincinnati and a host of MAC schools.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *